Thursday, January 31, 2008

WTF is this spam?

What is the meaning of this? I guess they want me to reply, to harvest my email address or something? Also they english writes many good.
I also recently saw this brilliant ad online. That's a pretty big claim.
I'm glad I don't use an ad blocker extension or I'd miss gems like these.

Glasses Make a Difference

THErainbowboys.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

After Dramatic Chipmunk Comes...

We've all seen dramatic Chipmunk (actually a Prairie Dog):
Now see the amazed Tarsier:

Cocaine Lab in Colombia

Found on Dumpert, tracked to Youtube, shared by the Rainbowboys.

cybr: See the actual process, with real coca, here:

State of the Union by the Numbers

A look at what President Bush said in his final State of the Union Address delivered Monday night. Each word is scaled in proportion to the number of times it was used. Roll over a word for its frequency. link

Gold seen through the newest electron microscope

TEAM 0.5, the world’s most powerful transmission electron microscope — capable of producing images with half-angstrom resolution (half a ten-billionth of a meter), less than the diameter of a single hydrogen atom also known as really freaking small — has been installed at the Department of Energy’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Read more...
Where these two gold crystals meet they are joined by a complex arrangement of atoms, forming a nanobridge that accommodates their different orientations. The atoms are 2.3 angstroms apart. TEAM 0.5's unprecedented signal-to-noise ratio makes it possible to distinguish individual atoms and, at the edges of the two crystals, deduce their position in three dimensions.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Giving Your Screen Depth With Head Tracking

Really an amazing effect. I want this for the PC, would make FPS much more immersive.

A380 Cockpit

Related to Annom's post, but this one is a 360 panorama.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rainbowboys, Lets Dance!

Schrödinger's lol cat


You have to know Schrödinger's cat (a very famous physics thought experiment related to quantum mechanics) to get this, it's a bit geeky.
This is somewhat accurate for me, maybe not for Douche cause he has CSS skills.

50 Atheism Quotes

A few of my favorites: Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money. -George Carlin Which is it, is man one of God’s blunders or is God one of man’s? -Friedrich Nietzsche What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of “humility.” This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. -Albert Einstein “In God We Trust.” I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true. -Mark Twain Lighthouses are more helpful then churches. -Benjamin Franklin What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. - Christopher Hitchens You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend. -Richard Jeni Quote One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. -Arthur C. Clarke See the others here...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Best Implementation of Game Physics Yet?

Star Wars: Force Unleashed
Physics engines used: Havok Euphoria Digital Molecular Matter Too bad there is no PC version planned (yet).

How I fold my shirts :)

I'm sogging to the max! Related to this post.

Anti-Tank Missile launch went wrong

Fast forward to about 45 seconds.

TED: Ants

Deborah Gordon studies ant colonies in the Arizona desert. She asks: How do these chitinous creatures get down to business -- and even multitask when they need to -- with no language, memory or visible leadership?
Or download high quality here!

Digg This?


I'm SABbing (Study Avoiding Behaviour) pretty hard today:

Annom and I have added a digg button to all posts. Clicking it (not the one in the previous sentence, but the one at the bottom) will bring you to Digg, where the permalink to the post is already filled in. all you need to do is make a title and description. If the post has already been submitted, digging it will give us an extra digg point, which will give the post more exposure.

Maybe we can get another Liquid Metal like success. Always fun to have more visitors. So sign up to Digg and start digging the posts you really like on our blog.

Digg has a few rules though:
* Submit things you think a lot of other people might be interested in.
* Link to the original source, not a site that's simply copying others' work.
* Don't submit content that violates our Terms of Service. It's there for this reason.
* Yes, you can submit your own content to Digg — just think about whether it's of general interest to others.
But it's up to the users to bury a story if they don't like it, so we'll just see what happens.

Maybe someone else wants to add a reddit or similar button. Or maybe we don't want this kind of thing on our blog. Discuss...

Running the Numbers (1.5)

200.000 plastic bottles, the number the US uses every five minutes.

This flash applet has some nice interactive statistics. It shows the numbers in pictures where you can zoom in. A nice way to show statistics, it helps giving them perspective.
Don't forget the zoom bar in the top right.

I composed the preview image, you don't actually see the zoom in a box, the whole image zooms in.

Link...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Strange Musical Instrument: Theremin

@ wiki
The theremin, theramin, or thereminvox, also known as an aetherphone is one of the earliest fully electronic musical instruments. It was invented by Russian inventor Léon Theremin in 1919, and it is unique in that it was the first musical zinstrument designed to be played without being touched. The controlling section generally consists of two metal antennas to sense the relative position of the player's hands. These sensors control audio oscillator(s) for frequency from one hand, and volume from the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

To play the theremin, the player moves his hands around the two metal antennas, which control the instrument's frequency (pitch) and amplitude (volume). The theremin is widely associated with "alien", surreal, and eerie-sounding portamento, glissando, tremolo, and vibrato sounds, due to its use in film soundtracks such as Spellbound, The Lost Weekend, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks! and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Theremins are also used in art music (especially avant-garde and 20th century "new music") and in popular music genres such as rock and pop.

More info (including technical details)
Most people have probably heard the theremin through old sci-fi movies in which is was very popular. In this clip, from The Day the Earth Stood Still, you first hear the theremin as the almost female sounding high voice.

In this next clip the theremin is played in a more harmonious way featuring the classical piece "Clair de lune".

Friday, January 25, 2008

Virgin Galactic Unveils SpaceShipTwo (model)

Coverage by Wired Blogs

@ wiki
SpaceShipTwo is designed to carry passengers to space, the maximum capacity will be eight people: six paying passengers and two pilots. The apogee of the new craft will be approximately 110 Km (68 miles), 10 km (6 miles) higher than SpaceShipOne. SpaceShipTwo will reach a speed of roughly 4000 km/h (2500 mph), using a single hybrid rocket motor. SpaceShipTwo uses a feathered re-entry system, feasible due to the low speed of re-entry — by contrast, space shuttles and other orbital spacecraft re-enter at orbital speeds, closer to 25000 km/h (16000 mph), requiring the use of heat shields. It will launch in midair at 15,200m (50,000ft) from its mother ship, WhiteKnightTwo. SpaceShipTwo's crew cabin will be 3.66m (12 ft) long and 2.28m (7.5 ft) in diameter.

Both SpaceShipTwo and its new carrier aircraft, White Knight Two (first craft called Eve after Richard Branson's mother), will be roughly three times the size of the first generation spacecraft and mothership that won the Ansari X Prize. While details remain scant (although a sketch of SpaceShipTwo has appeared in Popular Mechanics), SpaceShipTwo will have large porthole windows for the passengers' viewing pleasure, and all seats will recline back during landing to help decrease the discomfort of G-forces. Reportedly, the craft can land safely even if "catastrophic damage" occurs during the flight.

More than 65,000 would-be space tourists have applied for the first batch of 100 tickets to be available. The price will initially be US$200,000. However, after the first 100 tickets are sold the price would be dropped to around $100,000. Then deposits after the first year will drop to around $20,000. The duration of the flight will be approximately 2.5 hours, and weekly launches are planned.

In December 2007 Virgin Galactic had 200 paid-up applicants on its books for the early flights, and 95% were passing the necessary 6-8 g centrifuge tests.
Virgin Galactic website

YouTube video of construction process

Jeff Dunham - Achmed the Dead Terrorist

Maximize income

The newest scene: Happy Slapping!

Slap someone (can be a stranger or a friend) for no apparent reason other then to film it and upload it to internet... Rule nr.1: pick your victims carefully!
Rule nr.2 (for advanced Slappers only!): When Slapping from a moving car, don't fall out!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blasphemy

Top Gear: Bugatti Veyron vs. Cessna

It a complete episode divided in 5 parts, a bit of a long video but if you have the time and can enjoy Top Gear and the Bugatti Veyron it's worth watching! cybr: Here is a link to a torrent file of the complete episode. Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:

Another car vs. plane race (if you enjoyed it) the Ferrari 612 Scagletti vs. a commercial jet. The race is from England to Verbier (Switzerland):

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

T-shirt folding

cybr: or use this technique :)

Smart Child Bankrupts Make-A-Wish Foundation

No More Google AdSense

Too bad we've been removed from AdSense and we were up to $50+. Now we have to pay the domain costs of rainbowboys.org ourselves. Oh well, we'll manage. This is a testament to the effectiveness of Google's algorithms. ----------- Hello *******, While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we've decided to disable your account. Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions about your account or the actions we've taken, please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by visiting https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153&hl=en_US. Sincerely, The Google AdSense Team ------------------------------
------------------------------------------------- This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.

De kneepjes van de beurshandelaar

Ik vond deze video van een korte NOS journaal reportage die met een korte termijn beurshandelaar meeloopt. Gelukkig bevestigde hij mijn beeld van beurshandelaars als geavanceerde gok verslaafden volledig. Ik ben blij dat ze zelf toegeven dat ze maar wat gokken. Hij begint: "Wat wij doen is pure emotie, er zit geen logica achter". Wow, dat zijn nog eens kneepjes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I ventured out and found a train today...

at 300m of my house.

It's part of some kind of private security training area. I was told to get my ass off their property.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Some funny toilet signs

For a assignment for school I needed abstract human figures, so I googled "toilet sign" and some funny shit popped up:



Iridescent and Nacreous Clouds

Iridescent and Nacreous Clouds are quite stunning atmospheric phenomena, and they fit nicely with our theme :)

The Dildo Song

Futurama Meets The Simpsons

From the Futurama/Simpsons Infinitely Secret Crossover Crisis comic.

I wish there was a good way for making Bloggers image previews larger.

Playing With Ants on a Large Scale

Most Extensive Facial Prosthesis

Pretty remarkable, I didn't know these could be so convincing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Prevalence of female circumcision (removed)

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Lego Gatling Gun

What tag should I be using for this one? Thought geek would cover it but I'm not sure...

Learn to fly!

R.I.P. Piet

Piet, our deep fryer, died last week due to fatty acids obstructing his airways.

He is buried in a Kliko after a short but dignified ceremony.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Missing white woman syndrome

I found this interesting article on Wiki. I've always felt that way too much importance and attention is given to a few missing persons. Never realized though, that it's almost always pretty white girls.
Missing white woman syndrome (MWWS), also known as missing pretty girl syndrome, is a term used to describe alleged disproportionate media coverage of white female victims. The essential element of the syndrome being that the victim's gender, race, relative attractiveness and age matching the "damsel in distress" stereotype is alleged to result in positive discrimination in terms of media coverage and public interest in her case.

The National Missing Persons Helpline has reported on the degree to which the news media devote attention to vulnerable missing persons, noting that despite its efforts to generate news coverage for all missing persons cases, the news media themselves will only cover those cases that fit their publications. The NMPH also notes that those cases that generate the greatest publicity are those where the missing person is white, middle-class, female, and from a stable two-parent family, and where there is no indication that the missing person ran away from home. Two cases are given as contrasting examples: the murder of Hannah Williams and the murder of Danielle Jones. Despite the fact that in both cases the victim was a female teenager, there was far more coverage of Jones than of Williams. It is suggested that this is because Jones fulfils the criteria of being a model middle-class schoolgirl, whilst Williams, a girl with a working-class background whose parents were estranged and who had a stud in her nose, did not.

More...
There is also a list of possible instances of MWWS.

Like throwing a hotdog through a tunnel...

Click to see bigger picture and check the tattoo...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sonny

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/417513 HEre is a game called Sonny. It's a turn based game and seriously one of the best flash-games I've ever seen. It has so many features it could almost compare to World of warcraft apart from the 3d-which is impossible in Flash.

Dolphins Playing With Bubble Rings

If I click a label...

it only shows the last 20 posts of that label. I changed the number of posts on the frontpage, but that doesn't affect the number of posts per label that it shows. I also can't find a "next page" button. How can I view all posts with a specific label? This is pretty sucky. The new blogger template system has a "next page" link, but not the old template(that we use). This seems to make large labels totally useless, or am I wrong? edit: I can get an overview in "edit posts", but that doesn't feel as good as a full rendered page of 80 technology posts.

Muslim Distribution Map - Sunni vs Shia

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The real casanova

kind of feel sorry for the man, poor bastard...

The Cruise Scientology Indoctrination Video

cybr: Scientology keeps removing this from YouTube, i fixed the link, but it will probably be gone again soon. Here is some background analysis on the clip which explains a few of the acronyms used. Finally found a version that probably won't get deleted.

WW2

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We're still unclickable here Douche...

Still unclickable... Want to know what I'm talking about, click here. HAHA l0lzors... (I'm teh_funny)

WTF, when did this happen?

Jimmy Carr vs. Heckler

I introduced a new tag, I think it's a worthy addition, discuss...

Rocks & Rulers

De dag van de Dollar

Tegenlicht, een programma van de VPRO zond afgelopen maandag uit van de documentaire "De dag dat de Dollar valt" uit 2005 weer uit. Hier wordt een doemscenario uitgewerkt ddat de Amerikaanse economie instort, een optie die het afgelopen jaar door huizen- en kredietcrisis een stuk dichterbij lijkt gekomen. Centrale banken in VS en EU hebben inmiddels al een paar keer ingegrepen, zoals het scenario uit 2005 al voorspelde. En voor het 'omvallen' van banken in scene 7 hoeven we maar te verwijzen naar Northern Rock en zowat anderen die in de problemen zijn of zwaar moeten afschrijven momenteel. Trailer:

Om deze documentaire wat te actualiseren is heb ik twee fragmenten in de aanbieding:
Het eerste is een interview met Marc Langeveld over de koers van de dollar t.o.v goud. Is het wel waar dat de Verenigde Staten een 'strong dollar policy' voeren? Langeveld legt uit waarom dat voor de VS eigenlijk helemaal niet zo gunstig is.

Het tweede fragment is een interview met Jim Rogers die een zeer succesvol belegger is. Hij staat bekend om zijn accurate voorspellingen. Zo voorspelde hij de de run op comodities (grondstoffen)van 1999, de val van de dollar en de verschuiving van het financieel-economische accent van het Westen naar het Oosten - het door Rogers tot in den treure herhaalde "teach your children Chinese!"- wordt per dag meer werkelijkheid..

In het interview blikt hij vooruit wat het jaar 2008 zal brengen, en geeft hij zijn visie op de dollar. Bekijk hier het interview

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Google thinks I'm evil

Porn stars talk about gaming


Ashlynn Brooke

GD: If you could cuddle with one video game character, who would it be and why?
Ashlynn: [Thinks for a moment] Ratchet and Clank.
GD: I said one video game character. That's two.
Ashlynn: But they go together. And I'd want them at the same time.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snowworld Zoetermeer

3 Spartans I think I can, I think I can.I think I.........can't whaaaaaaaaaa I feel the NEED, the NEED for expedicious velocity. 3 Spartans using skill

Recreating Omaha Beach With Three People and Computers?

No problem:
This was made for the upcoming BBC program Bloody Omaha.

TV-B-Gone

Sunday, January 13, 2008

VideoTrace: Rapid interactive scene modeling from video

VideoTrace is a system for interactively generating realistic 3D models of objects from video—models that might be inserted into a video game, a simulation environment, or another video sequence. The user interacts with VideoTrace by tracing the shape of the object to be modelled over one or more frames of the video. By interpreting the sketch drawn by the user in light of 3D information obtained from computer vision techniques, a small number of simple 2D interactions can be used to generate a realistic 3D model.
Pretty cool technology, though stuff like this makes video manipulation increasingly easier, be ever more watchful for fake videos.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How sewing machines work

Colbert & Huckabee

Friday, January 11, 2008

Parted-at-birth twins 'married'

A pair of twins who were adopted by separate families as babies got married without knowing they were brother and sister, a peer told the House of Lords. A court annulled the British couple's union after they discovered their true relationship, Lord Alton said. The peer - who was told of the case by a High Court judge involved - said the twins felt an "inevitable attraction".

Geek/gamer porn

Nothing happening here, am I gay or not a true gamer?

Definition: "fo' shizzle my nizzle"

Urban Dictionary on the definition of "fo' shizzle my nizzle".
"fo shizzle ma nizzle" is a bastardization of "fo' sheezy mah neezy" which is a bastardization of "for sure mah nigga" which is a bastdardization of "I concur with you whole heartedly my African american brother"
lol...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Homemade timelapse

I made two timelapse videos of pretty boring things with an 8 year old webcam :)
Drying magic mushrooms, 4 days. Painting the new street lights, 2 hours.

Biggest black hole in the cosmos discovered

The most massive known black hole in the universe has been discovered, weighing in with the mass of 18 billion Suns.
The black hole is about six times as massive as the previous record holder and in fact weighs as much as a small galaxy. It lurks 3.5 billion light years away, and forms the heart of a quasar called OJ287. A quasar is an extremely bright object in which matter spiralling into a giant black hole emits copious amounts of radiation.
But rather than hosting just a single colossal black hole, the quasar appears to harbour two – a setup that has allowed astronomers to accurately 'weigh' the larger one.
The smaller black hole, which weighs about 100 million Suns, orbits the larger one on an oval-shaped path every 12 years.

Fuck me! Fuck me! Fuck me...

playing around with trains

I think we can sacrifice 1 person to see if this'll work in Holland as well.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Enjoy some frustration

U.S. Navy goes Heey yaaa!

Bomb Iran!

The American blogger Mark G took this photo in New Hampsire. This is what he says:
I thought this sign above was a joke when I first saw it. As I congratulated the man on his wit, he informed me that he was actually serious. I nearly fell over from shock at this but rallied and nervously asked him why he would encourage such a thing. The following exchange ensued: "Because they attacked us, man." "When?" "On 9-11, man." "What are you talking about? Arabs attacked us." "Are you sure about that?" Gotta love New Hampshire.

Jeep vs Tree

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

No convincing evidence for decline in tropical forests


Claims that tropical forests are declining cannot be backed up by hard evidence, according to new research from the University of Leeds.

[...]

Dr Grainger does not claim that tropical deforestation is not occurring, as there is plenty of local evidence for that. But owing to the lack of frequent scientific monitoring, something for which he has campaigned for 25 years, we cannot use available data to track the long-term global trend in tropical forest area with great accuracy.

“The picture is far more complicated than previously thought,” he said. “If there is no long-term net decline it suggests that deforestation is being accompanied by a lot of natural reforestation that we have not spotted.”

Dr Grainger first examined data published every 10 years by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) since 1980. These cover all forest in the humid and dry tropics and appear to indicate decline. FAO's Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000, for example, showed that all tropical forest area fell from 1,926 million hectares to 1,799 million hectares between 1990 and 2000. Ten years earlier, however, FAO’s previous report said that tropical forest area fell from 1,910 million ha to 1,756 million ha for the same 90 countries between 1980 and 1990.

[...]

Since errors in national statistics are higher for forests in the dry tropics than for forests in the humid tropics, in places near the Equator such as Amazonia, Borneo and the Congo Basin, he repeated the process just for tropical moist forest, with a different set of data, in the hope it would give a clearer picture. This time he found no evidence for decline since the early 1970s. Indeed, while his own estimate in 1983 of tropical moist forest area in 1980 was 1,081 million hectares, the latest satellite data led to an estimate of 1,181 million hectares for the same 63 countries in 2000.

He is cautious about the apparent slight rise. “We would expect to see some increase in estimates as we use more accurate satellite sensors. This is even apparent in FAO’s data. It is sad that only in the last 10 years have we begun to make full use of the satellite technology at our disposal.”

Full Article

1/350th chance, I won!


Now what do I get besides getting smacked in the face by hello.jpg?

Ik krijg altijd gelijk!

Het uitgangspunt was simpel: gelijk krijgen is belangrijker dan gelijk hebben. Daarom begonnen we enkele maanden geleden onze zoektocht naar de beste manieren om anderen te overtuigen, daarbij geholpen door de lezers van nrc.next die onze stukken op de website van commentaar hebben voorzien. Het uiteindelijke doel: een interactief boek met de titel Ik krijg altijd gelijk. Het project is nu halverwege. Hieronder volgt een overzicht van de eerste tien stukken die we de afgelopen maanden op deze pagina hebben gepubliceerd. Door Lars Duursma, Job ten Bosch en Take Ligteringen 1 Het loon van de angst Angst zaaien kan een uiterst effectief middel zijn om mensen te overtuigen, zo betoogden we. Je trekt er direct de aandacht mee en bovendien zijn bange mensen eerder geneigd irrationele beslissingen te nemen. Maar wil je jouw gehoor werkelijk angst inboezemen, dan moet je verhaal aan enkele criteria voldoen. In de eerste plaats kun je het beste dreigen met zaken die buiten jouw eigen invloedssfeer liggen, maar die jij wel kunt (helpen) voorkomen. Ook moet de dreiging concreet zijn: als we dit (niet) doen, gebeurt er dat – en spoedig ook. Tot slot moet de doelgroep bevattelijk zijn voor de onheilstijding; idealiter is de angst reeds latent aanwezig, en kun je hem vergroten. 2 Schaarste leidt tot vraag Vele zaken worden aantrekkelijker als ze schaars zijn, en dat geldt merkwaardig genoeg ook vaak voor meningen. Vele mensen voelen zich aangetrokken door meningen of inzichten die niet algemeen worden gedeeld, omdat dit ze het gevoel geeft deel uit te maken van een speciale groep. Probeer je verhaal dus aan te prijzen als een intellectueel gevecht tegen de onjuiste mening van de massa. Dat principe kunnen we nog verder doorvoeren door bij ons gehoor de indruk te wekken dat onze mening uitgesproken controversieel is. Begin je toespraak met de expliciete vermelding dat je dingen gaat zeggen die niet voor ieders oren bestemd zijn en dat er mensen zijn, die je het liefst het spreken zouden beletten. De kracht van het verbodene zal zijn uitwerking niet missen. 3 (Toe)geven en nemen Wie anderen gelijk geeft, krijgt vaker zelf gelijk, was ons uitgangspunt. Maar je moet wel strategisch toegeven, en dat betekent dat je je opponent alleen die punten moet gunnen die voor jou van weinig belang zijn. Een eerste voordeel van deze aanpak is dat je tegenstander zich vaak verplicht zal voelen jouw toegeeflijkheid te beantwoorden door zelf ook concessies te doen. Immers: voor wat hoort wat. Bovendien kun je het betoog van je tegenstander ondergraven door hem al snel gelijk te geven; als jullie het eens zijn is verder debat immers zinloos. Vraag je dus bij ieder punt van je opponent af, of je hem gelijk kunt geven zonder je eigen positie te ondergraven. Zo ja: geef toe. 4 Vals spelen met dilemma’s Een vals dilemma gaat uit van twee simpele keuzes, waarbij je net doet alsof het de enige twee keuzes zijn. Als je niet voor het een kiest, kies je derhalve automatisch voor het ander. Het lijkt doorzichtig, maar is vaak opmerkelijk effectief omdat veel mensen niet van ingewikkelde keuzes houden. Mensen zijn bovendien vaak bevattelijk voor valse dilemma’s als ze onder tijdsdruk staan, omdat ze dan graag snel knopen willen doorhakken. Wacht dus tot het eind van de vergadering voordat je je valse dilemma introduceert. Zorg bij voorkeur dat dit dilemma betrekking heeft op een onderwerp waarover jij meer kennis hebt dan je toehoorders; je verwerping van de ene keuze en pleidooi voor de andere keuze zal ze dan heel aantrekkelijk voorkomen. 5 Doelbewust je doelgroep kiezen Bedenk goed wie je eigenlijk wilt overtuigen. Het lijkt op het oog te simpel om er een serieus pleidooi aan te wijden, maar het is een cruciale stap die vaak vergeten wordt. Nogal wat mensen richten hun boodschap tot de verkeerde doelgroep en bereiken dus niet degenen die ze eigenlijk willen overtuigen. Wil je iets met je boodschap bereiken, vraag je dan altijd af wie degene is die in de praktijk iets met die boodschap moet gaan doen. Wie is degene die jou in staat moet stellen je doel te bereiken? Pas daarbij wel op dat je geen mensen tegen je in het harnas jaagt die jouw zaak kunnen schaden – zelfs al behoren die mensen niet tot de doelgroep. 6 Contrastwerking Onze perceptie van zaken kan veranderen onder invloed van vergelijkingen, en je kunt dit principe goed toepassen om je toehoorders te overtuigen. Dat hoeft niet eens primair met woorden; je stijl van presenteren kan al een groot verschil maken als die maar voldoende verschilt van de stijl van je voorganger. Hield hij een uitbundig betoog met veel armgebaren, dan zul je extra veel indruk maken met een volstrekt tegengestelde stijl: rustig, bedaard, bedachtzaam. In je betoog kun je verder extra geloofwaardig overkomen door een radicale stelling pas te poneren nadat je eerst een nog veel radicalere variant ervan hebt genoemd en ontkracht. Je kunt jouw stelling ook presenteren als een gulden middenweg tussen twee radicale uitersten. 7 Oeps... Er is niets mooiers dan je opponent in een discussie compleet van zijn stuk te brengen door het stellen van een vraag waar hij geen tekst op heeft. Deze ‘oeps-vraag’ zit hem vaak niet zozeer in wat je tegenstander zegt, maar in wat hij niet zegt. Stel dus tijdens zijn betoog een relevant thema aan de orde dat hij heeft nagelaten te noemen. Begin je daarbij af te vragen of er überhaupt wel een probleem is dat de voorgestelde aanpak noodzakelijk maakt. Bekijk verder of er wellicht partijen bij het probleem betrokken zijn die de spreker over het hoofd heeft gezien. Kijk tot slot kritisch naar de logica van zijn betoog, en de causaliteit daarin. Grote kans dat je via deze stappen verschillende oeps-vragen vindt. 8 Het gebruik van het woord niet Het gebruik van het woord ‘niet’ in een betoog kan riskant zijn, en het is daarom meestal beter het te vermijden. Mensen kunnen zich geen beeld van het woord vormen. Het gevolg is vaak dat het woord waaraan het in het betoog is gekoppeld, bij de toehoorders blijft hangen; daarmee bereik je dus het tegenovergestelde van wat je beoogde. Maar als je weet wat je doet, kun je het woord ‘niet’ ook in je voordeel laten werken door juist te benadrukken dat je het ergens niet over gaat hebben. Je brengt het thema daarmee enerzijds onder de aandacht, terwijl je het anderzijds ontkracht – immers, je wilt het er niet over hebben. 9 You’ve been framed Met framing bedoelen we het bepalen van de terminologie in een discussie. Dat kan uiterst effectief zijn, met name als je aan de ideeën van je tegenstander een negatieve benaming weet te geven. Daarbij is het van belang dat de gekozen term gemakkelijk blijft hangen. Dat kan enerzijds door begrippen te gebruiken met een sterke (negatieve) gevoelswaarde, zoals het Amerikaanse death tax. Anderzijds kun je proberen pesterig spitsvondig te zijn, zoals de weblog GeenStijl met zijn ‘campingzender’ (SBS6) en ‘staatstelevisie’ (de publieke omroep). Het lijkt erop dat het ideale frame bestaat uit ogenschijnlijk vreemde combinaties van twee gangbare woorden, getuige politieke vondsten als ‘aanrechtsubsidie’ en ‘moederbelasting’. 10 Herhaal! Ik herhaal: herhaal! Herhaling is een cruciaal element van overtuigen. Boodschappen blijven beter hangen als ze herhaald worden, en als we iets maar vaak genoeg horen kunnen we het zelfs meer gaan waarderen omdat het vertrouwd klinkt. Maar pas wel op dat je jezelf niet blijft herhalen, want te veel herhaling leidt tot irritatie en daarmee tot afwijzing. Het meest beproefde model van herhaling gaat uit van drie hoofdpunten. Je kondigt deze drie punten in je betoog eerst aan, daarna behandel je ze uitgebreid, en vervolgens breng je ze nog eens kort bij je toehoorders in herinnering. Iedere toehoorder zal de drie hoofdpunten vervolgens moeiteloos kunnen opdreunen.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Looks a bit crappy

I know it does, it's a short-term solution until I fix the header.

Bridge in Amsterdam